President Bush flatly said last week that those who thought the Iraq war had increased global terrorism were “naive” and “mistaken.” Apparently that includes the nation’s 16 intelligence agencies, which reached that conclusion in the recently declassified National Intelligence Estimate report, saying that the war had become a “cause celebre” for jihadi recruitment efforts.
Granted, the estimate also contains some conclusions that give Bush ammunition, such as the statement that “should jihadists leaving Iraq perceive themselves and be perceived to have failed, we judge fewer fighters will be inspired to carry on the fight,” which the administration said underscored the importance of winning in Iraq.
But overall, the New York Times was right to characterize the report as one that undercuts the president’s optimistic statements that “America is winning the war on terror.” In fact, the report argues, Islamic terrorists “are increasing in both number and geographic dispersion,” and the high-profile carnage and occupation in Iraq is helping swell those ranks.
Bush can run, but he can’t hide from these facts.
Posted by Randy Scholfield
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